Enchiladas Verdes con Pavo (Green Chile Turkey Enchiladas)


Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now we have leftover turkey to gobble up. At the request of our amigos at Avocados from Mexico, we’d like to share a family favorite, mom’s enchiladas verdes, (green enchiladas) again, yes they’re that good, but instead of using chicken, why not use leftover shredded pavo (turkey) and add a  side of sliced buttery, melt-in-your-mouth avocados. Anyone who has ever had my mother’s enchiladas verdes knows that there are green enchiladas and then there are mom’s green enchiladas. Her enchiladas are in a class all their own. With no exception this is a family favorite.

We are delighted to share our enchiladas verdes recipe with another ingredient all in a league of its own, Avocados from Mexico. When Avocados from Mexico asked us to share a favorite recipe that would go well with avocados we quickly thought of mom’s enchiladas verdes. So when shopping for your ingredients to make the enchiladas do not forget to pick up several Mexican avocados to garnish your plate or as a light side.

Enchiladas in our home means flat tortillas dipped in either red or green homemade chile sauce with just the right amount of spice, a layer of finely chopped onion and a mountain of queso (cheese). Now try that two or three more times for a final product of three or four layers of stacked enchiladas. The funny thing is we never had enchiladas rolled at home, the only time I saw enchiladas rolled was at a restaurant. I always thought that was rather odd. However, for this specific post we thought we’d roll them, which by the way is a lot more work and messier than stacking them.

Mom’s green enchiladas are simple. Her secret weapon is two fold. First you have to roast the long green chiles and you must use suero (whey) or buttermilk, not the same but it’s a close second. If you live in El Paso, you can purchase the “secret ingredient,” Suero de Sal from Licon Dairy, or substitute with buttermilk. (To make your own buttermilk, add one tablespoon of lemon or vinegar to one cup of milk.)

Our family prefers our enchiladas stacked, but if you plan on making this recipe using your leftover turkey I would suggest rolling them. You can even prepare them ahead of time and then you’ll have a quick and delicious meal a couple of days after Thanksgiving. Just when you thought you couldn’t eat another bite of turkey this recipe reinvents the way you’ll think about leftover turkey.

Imagine turkey filled green enchiladas surrounded by slices of fresh Mexican avocado; now that’s a picture worth taking with your smart phone and blasting it out to all your friends. Show them how you chose to eat your leftover turkey this year; with a little spice and some cool and creamy Mexican avocados.

Stacked or oven style, with or without leftover turkey, you’ll find yourself making this recipe again and again. Buen Provecho!


Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Enchiladas Verdes con Pavo (Green Chile Turkey Enchiladas)

Enchiladas Verdes con Pavo (Green Chile Turkey Enchiladas)


  • 12 Anaheim long green chile peppers
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart Suero de Sal (whey) or buttermilk can be used as a substitute, divided
  • ½ cup canola oil for frying 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 12 to18 corn tortillas, preferably white corn
  • 1 pound shredded turkey (or rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 ½ cups white shredded cheese (Monterrey Jack, Azadero or Muenster)
  • ¼ cup queso fresco, crumbled
  • ½ cup crema Mexicana or sour cream (for sauce and topping)
  • Salt to taste
  • Water, if needed
  • 2 to 3 ripe avocados from Mexico, pitted and sliced


Roast Chile Peppers:

  1. Preheat broiler. Select firm, meaty peppers without wrinkles for roasting.
  2. Rinse thoroughly.
  3. Place peppers evenly in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Place under broiler. Watch them closely as the skin will blister and turn black within minutes. Turn the peppers after 5 minutes to blister all sides evenly. When done, the pepper skins should be evenly blistered and mostly black.
  5. Place roasted peppers in a plastic bag, cover with a kitchen towel and when cool, rub off blackened skin, and discard stem.


  1. In a blender combine the peppers, flour, and half of the suero or buttermilk and blend until creamy.
  2. Pour mixture into medium skillet and set over medium-low heat to warm. Add additional suero or buttermilk and stir. Taste and season with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons. If the sauce is too spicy, add ¼ cup of crema Mexicana or sour cream and stir. If the sauce is too thick, add water until desired consistency is reached.

Stacked Style:

  1. Fry tortillas in hot oil until softened.
  2. Drain on paper towels.
  3. Soften tortillas by soaking in sauce one at a time.
  4. Place softened tortillas on individual serving plates. Layer with shredded turkey, onion, and cheese. Repeat process for a total of 3 to 4 tortillas for each serving.
  5. Serve with slices of avocados. Sabroso!

Oven Style:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Fry tortillas in hot oil just until softened. Drain on paper towels.
  3. Spread 1 cup of the sauce in an ungreased 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  4. Fill each tortilla with shredded turkey, onion, and cheese. Roll tortilla with filling, placing seam side down in the baking dish.
  5. Pour 2 cups of the sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with more cheese and bake until warm, about 15 minutes. Serve with a dollop of crema Mexicana or sour cream and slices of avocados.
Photography by Jeanine Thurston

Note: Avocados from Mexico compensated us for this post but the recipe and opinions are our own. Avocados from Mexico make good food better.